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Gustavus Adolphus College

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Abstract

This study investigates the opinions of Rhodes Must Fall from the perspective of various members of the UCT community. Violence has been a term used to describe the tactics used in protests during the Fallist movement. I argue against condemning the students based on this reasoning, citing Fanon, Robins, among others.

Through six interviews and observations, I gathered different narratives and accounts of the Fallist events at UCT. This study includes perspectives from activists involved in the Fallist movement, other forms of activism, and some who oppose the movement as a whole. It seeks to gain different narratives than are portrayed in mainstream media outlets.

Many people across campus felt excluded from the movement, and Rhodes Must Fall has entered a period of question of how best to achieve their ambitious goals, but also be inclusive and avoid being part of oppressive systems themselves. Analysis of positionality has led to the argument that exclusion comes from conflicts within personal identity. Different factions of Fallism have emerged, as people have expressed different priorities for the future of student activism. In my findings, I argue that Rhodes Must Fall protests left many people feeling excluded, which was often a result of aspects of their identity, but ultimately it shook up the status quo and has led to significant changes for all members of the UCT community.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change | Social Psychology and Interaction | Television

 

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